Pg. 1956 The Nelson Study Bible (2 Corinthians)
INDEPTH New Testament Giving
The most detailed passage on giving in the New Testament is found in Second Corinthians (chs. 8; 9). The primary reason that Paul addressed the topic here was that false teachers in Corinth were questioning Paul’s motives for ministry. Evidently they were suggesting that Paul was pocketing contributions earmarked for the poor believers in Jerusalem. Consequently the Corinthians, despite their announced willingness to help, had not donated to the cause.
Taking pen in hand, Paul defended his integrity (2 Cor. 1:12). Using the churches in Macedonia as his example, Paul gave the Corinthians a wonderful summary of why and how believers ought to give. Here are the highlights of Paul’s sermon:
First, who should give? All believers can and should contribute to the cause of Christ. The church at Macedonia was notoriously poor, yet they asked for the privilege of being allowed to give (2 Cor. 8:4) out of “their deep poverty” 2 Cor 8:2).
In what spirit should we give? We ought to give willingly 2 Cor. 8:12; 9:2) and cheerfully, “not grudgingly or of necessity” (2 Cor. 9:7). It is a privilege to share in the work of God. Moreover, it is the appropriate response to God’s “incredible gift,” His Own Son (2 Cor. 9:15).
How much should we give? Nowhere does the New Testament give us a specified percentage or amount. In this passage, Paul simply exhorts each of the members of the Corinthian church to give “as he purposes in the heart” 2 Cor. 9:7). Ideally, our gifts would be “generous” (2 Cor. 9:5) and given with “liberality” 2 Cor. 9:11). The overall tenor of this passage suggests sacrificial giving. Again, by the way of example, the Macedonians, like the poor widow praised by Christ in Luke21:1-4, gave not merely their “leftovers,” but more than they could afford 2 Cor. 8:3).
How should monetary gifts be handled? Paul took special care to explain that the Corinthians contributions would be handled with integrity by Titus (2 Cor. 8:16-20, 23) and another un-named brother (2 Cor. 8:22). These were men of the highest character. They were trustworthy and above reproach in the handling of money. We should entrust our church finances to men of this caliber.
Why is giving so important? In Paul’s words, it tests the sincerity of our love for God and others (2 Cor. 8:7, 8). To paraphrase these words of Christ (Matt. 6:19-21), how we handle material wealth is a barometer of our spiritual health.
What will be The greatest gift you may give someone is your time, your attention, your love, and your concern (from Joel Osteen).
God is testing us every day and has given us the right to make our own choices. Do you know which ones are the right choices in Gods mind?
Fear God, love God, honor God, and trust God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will receive and experience the joy of the promises of God’s blessings in His time.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I praise You for Your Son and the Holy Spirit. I praise You for Your grace in sending us Your wisdom about New Testament giving. Please bless those who have read this article for they too are seeking Your righteous truth, love, wisdom and understanding
May God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Christianity be our guiding lights, our safety nets and our inspiration for loving happiness in all of Your kingdom. Father into your hands I commend my spirit. Not my will, but Yours be done. Please come Lord Jesus.
I pray in Jesus sweet name and to His glory through the power of the Holy Spirit,